updated - May 23, 2013 Thursday EDT
By Zanub Saeed
A local North Carolina network announced that television icon and star Andy Griffith died on Tuesday at the age of 86, at this home in Dare County on Roanoke Island at 7:00am.
Former UNC President Bill Friday, as reported by WITN-TV, who was a close friend of Griffith's, announced the news. Dare county Sheriff Doug Doughtie confirmed to WITN that an ambulance was sent to Griffiths' home in the morning, but would not comment further on what happened. At the moment no known cause of death has been revealed publicly.
Griffith was best known for starring the television show named after him, "The Andy Griffith Show," in the 1960s, and then as country lawyer "Matlock," in the 1980s.
The actor began his career with comic monologues and movies, like 1957's "A Face in the Crowd," said MSNBC on Tuesday, but became more famous for his television stints, especially as a widowed sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," along with a child Ron Howard as Griffith's son Opie, and the late Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife. The comedy ran from 1960-1968.
Griffith's second most famous role was that of southern lawyer Ben Matlock in the show named after his character, which aimed towards older Americans, said Reuters. The show ran for nearly a decade, from 1986-1955. The show was based in the slow-moving fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., which was largely believed by the general public to have been based on Griffith's home town of Mouth Airy.
Born in Mount Airy, N.C., Griffith went to UNC Chapel Hill where he received a degree in music, noted WITN, and received from Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from then-U.S.-President George W. Bush.
Griffith is now survived by his wife Cindi, and daughter Dixie. His son, Andrew Jr., died in 1996.
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